Hurray!!!! Milgis has finally joined the dots of the ‘conservation’ circle!!!… TO ME, ONE IS NOT ‘DOING’ PROPER CONSERVATION UNTILL ONE INCLUDES FAMILY PLANNING IN THE EQUATION!!! Welcome aboard Haller foundation!! We are delighted not only for the above reason, but Rene Haller is famous in Kenya, especially in my generation, probably world wide, for all he has done in Bamburi, and obviously far and wide now.. We are proud to be associated, and THANK YOU Louise Piper and Julia Hailes for coming all the way to the Milgis to see us and to show us the all important goods!!
Info from Haller Foundation.. on the situation
‘Kenya has a population of 37 million (compared to 7 million at independence in 1963), of which half live below the poverty line (compared to only a quarter 45 years ago). This huge population explosion is causing an intolerable and unsustainable strain on Kenya’s ecology resulting in insufficient food, water and land. This is a particular issue in the rural areas, which represents 70% of the population, as families have an average of 7-8 children each.
An estimated 10% of girls leave school due to pregnancy, of which few find jobs, despite qualifications. A recent study released by the Centre for Study of Adolescence stated that 13% of students had become pregnant by the age of 14 and 80% of adolescents had had sex before they were 20. It also stated that “teenage pregnancy is a major contributor to school dropout among girls” which was “costing the Government an estimated Sch 60 million p.a.”
It is our belief that family planning is critical to alleviate poverty and the need to educate adolescent girls on the implications of becoming pregnant at an early age and how to minimise the chances of becoming pregnant is key. The use of appropriate contraception including condoms is, of course, the most efficient way to reduce the likelihood of becoming pregnant and contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Their use, however, is very limited in the rural communities due to cultural issues, cost and lack of access.
In response to this problem, The Haller Foundation plans to use a newly developed tool called the “Repro Ruler” which will be used to teach girls between the ages of 11 to 16 about the menstrual cycle and when, during the reproductive cycle, pregnancy is most likely to occur. The ruler serves as a standard 30 cm school ruler, but also has defined areas marked when pregnancy is least and most likely to occur within a 28 day cycle. Girls will be educated regarding the use of the ruler and taught how to calculate their individual cycle. See overleaf for more detailed information on the ruler.
Dedicated qualified nurses and medical officers will run Family Planning Workshops in conjunction with schools to ensure each girl understands the reproductive cycle and the Repro Ruler’s use as well as understanding other contraceptives available and their related benefits.’
We have a conservation club meeting with the 35 sponsor children on the 27th December, Haller have sent us a box full of repro rulers, and bracelets in time for this.. Then at the beginning of next year two Milgis representatives will head down to Mombasa, to get training on how to go about teaching the communities the facts of life!, and the facts of the world!! We feel that this very simple system will really help every one, from the warriors, girls, and married men and women up there as it does not involve any drugs..
Living in kenya, where we have one of the highest population growths in the world, its actually worrying to watch.. I believe the numbers are much higher than the report above but what ever.. what one sees on the ground is frightening beyond belief.. In 50 years our population has multiplied 7 or 8 times, and well over half of that is probably under the age of 20.. Can you believe it.. its true, and we’ve got interresting times coming up.. There is mass unemployment already, what are all those millions going to do.. VERY VERY worrying..
BUT lets be positive, on our side and persevere up in the North, and not to join the rest of Kenya, with the land hunger problem,.. and where people are ‘ living on top of each other’… Every time I go for another flight there are hundreds more houses going up.. So If we can possibly ‘close the stable door before the horse bolts’ up our way… I will be a very happy person, but its not easy.. if you live out there, and you’ve all seen the photos of vast beautiful spaces, etc etc its hard for somebody who has not seen the other half of the world to understand what is going on!!
I am a very big believer in the way the Samburu live.. pastoral, and nomadic, and I wish that they will be able to keep their trusting and open way of living where any one can live anywhere, and graze their animals anywhere.. Thats how you survive up in these dry areas.. If there are too many of them this will change very quickly.. If they start cutting up the land, every one owning their piece then we are looking at disaster.. mark my words!! many people snigger and laugh at me but mmmmm I see the problems all around me when I head to ‘Kenya’ which is what they call the rest of the country.. !. Lets face it you turn on the news and almost every single problem in the world is because we humans are too many….
ANYWAY on that contreversial note, I want to THANK from my heart ALL the amazing people that have helped the Milgis Trust over the last year, without you all, our life would not be worth living.. I have set my heart and soul onto giving the ELEPHANTS a safe and spacious place to live up in Northern Kenya, and that means working with the good people up there, who are very very accomodating, THANK FULLY, BUT I STILL NEED YOUR HELP.. SO THANK YOU
I will finish with a lovely array of pictures of ‘who makes him self look bigger’, when need be!!
Wishing you all a special time over the Christmas holidays and a very happy start to 2014 which is the year that us Elephant lovers will stop the killing of these gentle amazing giants.. . YES????